Friday, February 29, 2008
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Chantels
Album:The Doo Wop Box
This is another classic from Rhino's 4CD Doo Wop Box. The Chantels were one of the very first girl groups and Maybe was their biggest hit in 1957. The leader and main songwriter of the group was Arlene Smith (born Oct. 5, 1941 in Bronx, NY). Arlene, Lois Harris, Sonia Goring, Jackie Landry & Rene Minus were schoolmates and formed The Chantels as teenagers in 1956. They auditioned for Richard Barrett of The Valentinos and he signed them to End Records. Their first single He's Gone did OK but the follow up Maybe blew up and reached #15 on the pop charts in early 1958. It probably did even better but the record was pirated by small distributors. It's one of the most memorable songs of the doo wop era and girl groups were unique at that time. The Chantels were never able to repeat the success of Maybe and were dropped by End in 1959. Arlene Smith left to go solo but was not successful and became a teacher. Lois Harris also left and The Chantels continued as a trio. They signed with Carlton Records and split in 1963. Arlene Smith reformed a new version of The Chantels in the 70s and continues to tour the oldies circuit today. Here's The Chantels performing Maybe on the PBS special Doo Wop Gold.